Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Crimson Tide track and field, cross-country to compete in Paul Short Invitational

The Paul Short Invitational, held in Bethlehem, Penn., will see the University of Alabama track and field and cross country teams compete Saturday, Oct. 5. The teams, lead by head coach Dan Waters and assistant coach Adam Tribble, will compete against 50 other schools, including Georgetown, Dartmouth and Indiana.

Tribble said he has watched the teams change over the past few years.

“The biggest change has been attitude,” he said. “I think that the attitude and the culture are in a really good spot now. It’s just a matter of each and every year trying to raise the level of talent through recruitment, and give the ones that are already here a chance to grow.”

Competing in the upcoming meet for the women’s team is Katelyn Greenleaf, a sophomore who earned SEC All-Freshman honors last year. Greenleaf, who has been involved in track since she was 12 years old, described her experience over the past half decade as one of opportunity and passion.

“That was a really cool experience I had last year, and definitely something I was expecting,” Greenleaf said of earning SEC All-Freshman honors. “Coming in I didn’t have some of the faster times, but I was able to improve throughout the cross country season because I was able to run with a cool team.”

Matt Airola, a transfer from American River College, will be competing for the men’s team this upcoming Saturday. Airola led American River College to win the 2012 California Community College Championships. Airola has been preparing himself physically and mentally for the longer races since coming to Alabama.

“I’m doing 15 to 20 miles a week here,” Airola said. “We raced four miles [at American River] and you race six miles here. You have to have your body adjusted.”

While competing for the Crimson Tide, each athlete has different personal stories and experiences to drive and motivate them forward during races.

For Greenleaf, her religion and teammates factor into what drives her past the metaphorical runner’s wall.

“One thing that definitely drives me is running around other teammates. We were able to help each other out. Something else that helps me focus and be able to push through the races is relying on God’s strength,” Greenleaf said.

Airola is driven by the memory of his mother, using her to guide him forward during races and keep him motivated.

“My mom passed away with cancer, and her pain – what I’m doing right now isn’t anything like she had to go through,” Airola said. “She was pretty much my motivation for everything.”

Tribble describes Alabama, the team as well as the University, as something unlike anything he’s ever been to. He values the familial relationship that the University has with its students and athletes.

“Nobody, no school has just the passion that Alabama does,” Tribble said.


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